Anyway, I know it's been a while since I last updated, but never fear! Today I come with not one, but TWO, chocolate reviews. Both, oddly enough, are similarly-styled chocolate bars (dark chocolate and coffee beans), though I didn't plan it this way.
When I was at the Market a few weeks ago buying the Dolfin Earl Grey chocolate, I also picked up a bar of Endangered Species Chocolate.
Extra coffee beans not included.
According to the package, 10% of the net profits go towards helping endangered species and their habitats; if nothing else, this statement makes you feel good about purchasing a chocolate bar. And as if that doesn't tug at your heartstrings enough, there's a rather formidable close-up shot of a tiger's eyes, giving the impression that the entire tiger population will go under if you don't buy one of these bars.
Buy chocolate, save a tiger.
What could be more tempting than dark chocolate with espresso beans and the notion that your purchase is saving the environment?
There was just one problem: the expiration date, like the Dolfin bar, had passed long ago (March 10, 2010, to be exact). I didn't notice this when I bought it, but hear this, Market employees: I'm on to you. Selling seven-month old chocolate for $4 is not cool and results in sub-par chocolate.
With the Dolfin, I wasn't bothered much by the fact that the chocolate was a bit old. Unfortunately, the Endangered Species doesn't hold up so well once the date passes. The bar was very hard, which affected the dark chocolate/espresso bean combination; I could barely taste the beans. I also felt that 72% cocoa was a bit much for this bar; it was almost too strong (60% would be much better and would help emphasize the chocolate AND espresso bean flavors simultaneously). The texture was hard and crunchy and not particularly appetizing. As a result, I had a hard time motivating myself to finish this bar.
All in all, I wasn't too impressed, although I would like to try it again when it hasn't expired so I can see how much the age of the chocolate affected the taste.
A week later, I found myself at Burger's Market picking up some bacon. Burger's is a small store with a very modest chocolate selection right next to the cashier--a location that I dislike because I felt as though the cashier was staring me down, impatiently waiting for me to make my choice so she could ring me up. So I quickly grabbed the first thing I saw:
Chocolove, according to their website, is sold primarily at Whole Foods and World Market (the latter, by the way, is one of my favorite places to get chocolate). However, for whatever reason, the only kind of Chocolove chocolate I have ever tried (or even seen) prior to my Burger's trip was Raspberries with Dark Chocolate, which I don't recall enjoying all the much.
The Coffee Crunch, though, is pretty amazing. It is essentially the same as the Endangered Species with one exception: Coffee Crunch is 55% cocoa, while Endangered Species is 72%. The cocoa percentages make a HUGE difference; in the Coffee Crunch, the taste differences are much more apparent than in the Endangered Species. The Coffee Crunch is milkier, which gives it a richer flavor.
My only criticism about the Coffee Crunch regards the coffee beans themselves. They were smaller than the beans used in the Endangered Species and tended to get stuck in my teeth; after eating a square, I found myself wanting to swish water around in my mouth to get the beans out. This didn't happen with the Endangered Species.
As with the Endangered Species, Chocolove offers an incentive for buying their chocolate: each bar includes a love poem! OMG YAY! In reality, each "love poem" is an excerpt from a famous work of literature; I believe the Raspberry contains a piece from Don Juan, while the Coffee Crunch excerpts Twelfth Night. The work doesn't really relate to the coffee in any way, but, as an English major, I'm a little amused by this sort of thing.
Another reason to buy the Coffee Crunch? According to the package, 30 grams (or 1/3) of the bar = one cup of coffee. So the entire bar contains three cups of coffee. Nice!
Endangered Speies Dark Chocolate with Espresso Beans rating: 3.5/5
Chocolove Coffee Crunch rating: 4.5/5